Thyroid :

Selenium Use in Auto-Immune Thyroid Disease

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s own immune system begins to attack the thyroid. The thyroid gland sits at the base of your neck and is responsible for regulating metabolism. Over time the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones necessary for regulating metabolism and energy production becomes reduced and may lead to hypothyroidism. In addition to fatigue, other symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, sensitivity to cold and muscle weakness. Women are at a higher risk than men for developing this condition and the risk increases with age. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the leading cause of hypothyroidism.

Selenium is highly concentrated in the thyroid gland. This trace mineral is a component of enzymes involved in the activation and deactivation of thyroid hormones. A recent review of studies published in 2010 in Thyroid has found selenium supplementation may help those with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Patients taking levothyroxin treatment for Hashimoto’s either received 200 mcg of selenium or a placebo for 3 months. Those receiving the selenium experienced a reduction in thyroid autoantibodies, suggesting an improvement in the disease. As a bonus they also reported improvements in well being and mood. The researchers recommend that patients demonstrate improvement in their autoantibodies before continuing with regular supplementation.

Megan Witt


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